This is simply a list of common phrasal verbs which your students should know. There is no easy way to learn phrasal verbs as their meaning cannot be guessed by their make-up. Likewise many phrasal verbs have several completely unrelated meanings.
This means that phrasal verbs must simply be learned in context.
This list can be used in conjunction with different phrasal verb activities.
See the main article, Phrasal verbs.
Common Phrasal Verbs
back up – support
break into – enter illegally
break off – separate, remove
break out – escape
break up – dismantle, take to pieces
bring about – cause to happen
bring off – succeed in doing s.t.
bring round – help regain consciousness
bring up – raise (a child)
call off – cancel
call up – conscript into the army
catch on – become popular
check out – examine
check up on – make sure s.o. is working
clear up – tidy up a mess
come into – inherit
come up with – think of, invent
counted in – include
count on – rely on
cut off – disconnect (e.g. telephone)
do away with – abolish s.t.
do down – criticize badly
do up – repair, renovate
drop off – fall asleep
face up to – accept and deal with
fall for – suddenly attracted to s.o.
get back – take possession of again
get by – survive
get on with – be friends with
get round to – find time to do s.t.
get through to – communicate to
give away – part with
give off – emit, exude
give out – emit; distribute
give in – stop trying
give up – stop doing s.t.
go for – attack
go off – become bad, moldy etc.
go through – examine, check
hang onto – keep, not let go
hang up – put the phone down
hold back – restrain
hold down – manage to keep (a job)
hold up – delay; rob at gunpoint
join up – enter the army
keep in – stop from leaving
keep up with – be as good/fast etc. as
knock off – finish work; steal
knock out – hit unconscious
leave out – omit
let down – disappoint s.o.
let in – admit into
let off – free without punishment
look after – take care of
look for – search for s.t.
look up – search for s.t. in a book
look up to – respect
make for – head towards
make out – discern, see clearly
make up – invent (a story etc.)
own up – admit
pass away – die
pass by – go past something
pass out – faint
pass up – not take advantage of
pay back – return s.t. borrowed
picked up – acquire (habits)
pick out – choose
pull down – demolish (building)
pull up – stop (a car)
put off – postpone; dissuade
put up with – tolerate
ring off – put the phone down
ring up – call on the phone
run into – meet unexpectedly
run off with – steal and leave
run over – knock down with a car
see through – finish a (difficult) job
send for – call s.o. to visit you
set off – begin, start (a journey)
soak up – absorb
stand by – support; reserve
stand for – tolerate; represent
stand in for – replace as a substitute
stand out – be obvious
stand up to – resist, fight against
stop over – spend the night
take after – resemble
take down – write down
take off – imitate; remove; leave the ground
take over – assume control of
take up – start a new hobby
try out – test to see if it works
turn up – arrive unexpectedly
wear off – fade away
wear out – tire
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